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Sovereign Health Alumni Newsletter

How Effective is Mandated Treatment?

When a loved one in a person's life has an addiction to drugs or alcohol, it can be painful to observe the damage that is done to their life and the lives of those around them. Friends or family may have a strong desire to get the abuser the help that they need.


However, treatment will be a much easier and smoother process if the individual has an accepting attitude toward it. One question that many may have is how effective treatment is when it is involuntary as opposed to voluntary.

Mental Health Treatment Vs. the Prison System

Although it is not as if there was ever a time in history when mental health treatment was generously provided in a prison setting, we are still seeing disconcerting levels of treatment actually being administered. Since the U.S. has the highest incarceration rates in the world and is also one of the leading producers of pharmaceuticals, it would seem that providing treatment to the percentage of prisoners that regularly take medication would be as simple as picking up your daily fruit cocktail from the cafeteria. However, due to a variety of factors, adequate mental health treatment still remains a challenge.

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The Benefits of Meditation Following Substance Abuse Recovery

For most people in the United States today, daily life has become noisy, busy and to a great extent, technology dependent. Stress in all its forms appears to be so common that it is the cause or contributor of many diseases.  Our forebears spent more of their time than we do on actual physical labor, and although their lives may have been more labor intensive than ours, they were able to access something that is now difficult to find; silence.


Meditation is the intentional act of relaxing the mind and body. The practice is a mental exercise, as concentration on one's breathing or repetition of a mantra, for the purpose of reaching a heightened level of spiritual awareness, calming the mind and inducing a feeling of peace.

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We are what we eat

"We all eat and it would be a sad waste of opportunity to eat badly."

- Ann Wigmore


The grapefruit diet, the cabbage soup diet, the South Beach diet, it seems a new diet comes into being every day.  Almost any doctor will tell a person that the best diet is a balanced diet.  What is a balanced diet?  It is one that contains the proper proportions of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals and water necessary to maintain good health.  A takeout breakfast burrito for breakfast, a cheeseburger and fries for lunch and pizza for dinner is not a balanced diet.

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10 Tips for Achieving Mental Wellness in Recovery

Life in this wacky world is a daring adventure seemingly designed to challenge at every turn.  No one escapes unscathed, but people recovering from a substance addiction or a mental health disorder are particularly vulnerable to life's stressors.


A key goal is to restore the brain chemistry that gets thrown grossly out of whack due to addiction and mood disorders. With a little tweaking of one's thought processes and some much needed tending to the soul, mental wellness can be achieved.  

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Singer Judy Collins' recovery from alcoholism

Famed folksinger Judy Collins is well remembered for her career in popular music that has spanned decades. Yet despite the success and acclaim of her professional life, she has faced a debilitating battle on a personal level - alcoholism. Though she has admitted to experimenting with controlled substances in her life, none took hold of her the way that this legal, socially accepted intoxicant did. In addition, others in Collins' family, including her father and son, have also battled alcohol dependence.

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Book Spotlight:

Learning how to "Show Some Love"

It can be hard to figure out how to help a friend or family members in recovery. For most individuals, unless they have dealt with the situation before, they may not even know how they can help. Do they talk to their loved one? If so, how? Should they be encouraging or blunt? Should they spend extra time with them or less? So they just do nothing?


Having a loved one in recovery is no easy matter. There are others, though, who have already walked down this path and are able to point out the best way to go about just such a situation. 

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Location Updates

San Clemente: San Clemente welcomed Dr. Omar Faruk as the new Group Medical Director and Dr. Meghan Marcum as the Director of Clinical Excellence. At the start of January, BioSound was introduced, a biofeedback system therapy that delivers audio and video guided imagery sessions with positive affirmations. BioSound is particularly helpful as a crisis intervention resource and effective method of reducing early discharge AMA's.   


Culver City: The LA county site has just opened the Woodvine house and should have the 91st Community Care licensed by February. Matthew Marvin was promoted to Assistant Operations Manager and William "Blake" Prewett was promoted to Operations Manager. Mark Rossella will be joining the team in the role of Patient Advocate.


Arizona: Has been growing with a large influx of new hires. Program Director Dawn Whittington, Senior Clinicians Shannon Hollenbeck, Sherri Helterbran, Bonnie Fenoff, Alethea Bessire, Lucy Koener and Medical Liaisons Debbie Dean, DeAnne Gould and Martha Groenwald.


Florida: Program Director Dr. Rick Miller has joined The Sunshine state facility that is specializing in detox, IOP and more. They just opened the 40-bed facility in Southwest Florida within the last few months.


Rancho San Diego:  Angela Famous has joined RSD as a Therapist and Hannah Grey also started in the role of Clinical Coordinator.  


WRA: WRA acquired two new Parent Liaisons in the forms of KaeLene Marsden and Misty Bliss. WRA is expanding their facilities to accommodate 42 new beds in the unused portion of their building. They are also aquiring horses for an equine program.

Alumni Spotlight: Nicole W.

1. What was your life like before coming into Sovereign Health? 


Before coming to Sovereign Health, my life had completely fallen apart. I was fighting off worsening depression with increasing amounts of drugs; I would have been hard pressed to remember the last time I even went 24 hours without using.

The light and life of my vivacious personality had completely diminished, along with any hope or plans for the future. I literally couldn't think of anything worth living for, nor could I picture myself living past October (it was September at the time). 

I never devised a suicidal plan, but kept putting myself in more and more dangerous situations, teetering on the edge of an overdose, flirting with death. The brilliant mind that could have created a successful business but instead had turned to drug dealing, put a 'safe-guard' plan in place: 

Upcoming Events

All California Young People in Alcoholics Anonymous Round-Up  

Feb 26th - Mar 1st 2015


Tennessee Conference of Young People in Alcoholics Anonymous  

Feb 28th - March 2nd


New Zealand Young People in AA 


April 25th - April 27th


Florida - Space Coast Roundup - Annual Alcoholics Anonymous event with Al-Anon & Alateen participation


Feb 5th - 8th


Narcotics Anonymous Events  


NAMI OC Events 



SMART Recovery Online Events & Webinars  http://www.smartrecovery.org/events/

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